Ian, who worked as a journalist before becoming a TV writer, producer and writer, said: “It’s great to be visiting Sunderland once again. It was a regular location for the This Is Your Life shows. School visits are wonderful and the welcome given to books by young people is wonderful. I hope a return visit can be planned.”
Since the release of the first Albert Upside Down book in 2021, Albert has amassed thousands of fans around the world. Albert and the Wind, Albert Supersize, and Albert in the Air also feature in the four-book series.
Ian, who is based in London, added: “Albert seems to be taking it all in his stride. He’s become a bit of a diva but maybe that’s just his age. We were all amazed at how much its popularity has grown. He has fans in the UK, USA, Japan and Australia.
“It took me thirty years to get a publishing deal, trying between TV jobs, but Albert was the inspiration I needed.”
Celebrity fans who adore Albert include YouTuber and Strictly Come Dancing star Joe Sugg, former Emmerdale actor and 2021 I’m A Celebrity winner Danny Miller and influencer Lydia Bright.
Ian has also expanded his book credits with the recent release of Hugg ‘n’ Bugg Finding Home, the first in a new series of books featuring a scruffy yeti and a mountain flea who doesn’t like the cold.